June 29, 2021 8:50:08 pm
Where do vegetarians get their protein from? This is a question that many non-vegetarians ask. But contrary to what they believe, there are many sources of protein which help a vegetarian person stay healthy.
Apeksha Ekbote, the chief dietician at NephroPlus, says that for patients who are on dialysis, protein is an important nutrient. “An individual loses as much as 8-16 g of average protein per session of dialysis. Individuals on dialysis need to consume 1.2-1.5g/kg of ideal body weight of protein every day to compensate for these losses,” she says.
Vegetarians and chronic kidney disease (CKD)
Ekbote says a vegetarian person follows a specific diet which includes consumption of only plant-based foods. “They do not consume meat or eggs. If you are a vegetarian, you don’t have to start eating meat because you have CKD or have started dialysis.”
She explains that although most vegetarian protein sources are either rich in phosphorus or potassium, it is not necessary that one avoids taking them. “It is of utmost importance that you take your phosphate binders with food correctly. Vegetarian sources are not as high in biological value as egg or meat, but taking them appropriately will help one get their daily dose of protein.”
Vegetarians may include the following sources to enhance their protein intake:
– Soy or soy products like soy milk, soya flakes, meal maker, tofu, etc.
– Dairy products (restricted to 300 ml/day), most importantly paneer.
– Beans and lentils (leached)
– Legumes (leached)
And although protein supplements may be an option for patients who are unable to meet their protein needs by food alone, “it is not compulsory for a vegetarian to shift to being an ovo-vegetarian (consume eggs) just to get their protein”.
Ekbote suggests you follow your dietician’s advice and get the daily dose of protein by continuing to be a vegetarian.